We Ask God to Speak, but Do We Listen?
*This blog post is a follow-up to Episode 139 of the Provoke & Inspire Podcast: “Chad’s Confession & Holy Spirit Inspired Risk Taking in Every Day Life!."*
Chad Johnson is one of the show’s four regulars, and God has given him a unique burden for responding to the promptings of the Holy Spirit to take risks to love people in his everyday life.
The segment typically lasts five minutes, but this time it took over the whole episode. He shared how after David Pierce (another podcast regular) had challenged him to be more clear in sharing Jesus when speaking to people, it inspired a rebirth in his passion for God and desire to love others.
Although he said he was annoyed at first for having been called out by David, this moment of honesty broke something in him and led to an incredible week of risk-taking.
Chad’s testimony inspired an awesome conversation lasting more than 40 minutes, with each of us on the podcast taking turns sharing our victories and failures in this area.
Though this topic was a departure from what I had planned, I didn’t mind. Just before we started recording, I had actually prayed, “God, if you want to take us in a different direction than we’ve planned, that’s fine.”
I wasn’t expecting such an immediate answer to my prayer, but it got me thinking. How often do I say that I want God to speak or to guide my steps and then go about my day without the slightest expectation that He actually will?
I began reflecting on the nature of my relationship with God. Is it two-way and dynamic, or do I do all the talking? Do I pay lip service to Christ’s lordship over my life, or am I truly ready to deviate entirely from my agenda when He asks me to do so?
Over the past few years, I have tried to meditate on how I live and my responsiveness to God’s leading. What I’ve discovered is a compartmentalized life.
Though I know God is sovereign and that a higher reality exists beyond my senses, I struggle to live as though that is true.
I read in James that my life is a mist and that to presume too much about my future is arrogance, and yet doing so comes so naturally to me. I am drawn to the brilliance of Paul, whose powers of thought and argument were unparalleled, and yet Acts 16 shows a man in tune with the Spirit and unflinchingly obedient to His leading.
Chad’s derailing of my podcast plan might seem trivial and unworthy of serious attention, but it reminded me of something that I seem to forget so easily:
God is speaking, but am I listening?